It’s time to abolish plastic red cups, ladies. It’s time to have adult parties. I don’t mean like XXX ADULT parties. I mean, here’s how to have a grown-up party. One that contains zero keg stands but still gallons of fun!
Get proper glassware.
You can buy martini glasses at the 99 Cent Store. It’s worth it. Not only do you look classy, but if someone drops one, you’re only out $1.00 plus whatever tax is. If you really don’t want to use real glasses, then at least use nice fake plastic glassware. NO RED CUPS. NO RED CUPS EVER. We’re adults now.
Make sure you have food.
It can be a bowl of popcorn and a plate of fruit if you don’t feel like cooking. But those who provide booze for their guests are wise to provide food as well. It’s being a smart (and kind!) host. Speaking of booze…
Make sure you have enough alcohol.
Here’s the general rule is “Number of guests x estimated number of drinks per guest = total number of drinks” but you also want to factor in how long your party is (or how long you think it will be. I remember really feeling like an adult when my party invites stopped having the time the party ended on it. Instead that time would be replaced with a “?” or simply no mention of it at all!). I don’t care how many people are going, no keg. U.S. keg sizes aren’t standardized anyway, so you could be getting ripped off when you’re trying to save.
When it comes to booze, it’s always better to buy more than less, as booze doesn’t have expiration dates like food does and can easily last you for your next party or the next time you’re listening to the Mad Men soundtrack while staring at a digital roaring fire. Please note that alcohols like Vermouth and Baileys should be refrigerated after opening, and do have a shorter shelf life than other liquors.
You can get about 6 glasses of wine out of one bottle. Hard liquors yield more, as they’re usually mixed with something else, so double it. So then let’s say you get about 12 drinks out of a 750 ML bottle of hard alcohol. Assume everyone will have 2 drinks. Some more, some less. But start with 2 per person.
Generally, for a medium to large sized classy party, I’d suggest 2-3 bottles of your favorite hard alcohols, plus a few bottles of wine. If you’re going to do martinis, get 1-2 bottles of Vermouth. Vermouth you can get away with less of, so even if you do just one bottle you could be fine.
Don’t ask too much of your guests.
Want to throw a themed party and ask them to dress up? Go for it. Want them to bring props and have a specific character in mind and have their costume identical to the authentic look? Don’t bother. People have lives. However, you should expect them to be polite, eager, and somewhat tidy in your home — that’s not asking too much. If you’re using real glassware, expect one glass to be broken every hour after the first hour the party starts. Have a broom and/or vacuum cleaner nearby and get over it.
Introduce each other.
You know everyone you invited, everyone you invited knows you, not everyone knows everyone you invited. Change that! Feel free to introduce people to each other and give them something to discuss. Maybe they have something in common, like a hometown or their opinions on the Olive Garden. I don’t know, you’ll think of something.
Don’t let your guests feel abandoned.
Obviously as the host you have things to do, but check in with everyone, especially those who look forlorn in the corner. If people are supposed to let themselves into the party and there’s no one there to greet them, have a sign on the door that says “Come on in!” and make sure the place is brightly lit. If the doorbell is broken, indicate that somewhere. It’s painfully awkward to have your guest stand outside the roaring party, ringing a silent bell, wondering why no one is letting them in. Have signs pointing to the bathroom. If you don’t want people wandering into your bedroom, have the door completely shut, or even locked. Don’t feel bad about leaving a sign on the door that says “bedroom off limits, have sex somewhere else” — only if you know your crowd and think they would get a laugh out of it. Otherwise, simply keep the door shut and the surrounding area dark.
Throwing a party can be intimidating and frankly, damn scary. Make a list of everything you need to purchase, cook/bake, and do. It will make it SO much easier. You can do it! You can have a grown-up party! And please: it’s okay if you’re single at your own party. Your own party does not require you to have a plus one. The whole damn party is your plus one.
Photo: Alfred Bloomingdale Dinner Party Autumnal Elegance via LIFE photo archives for Google
Almie Rose is a writer from Los Angeles. She has a blog, Apocalypstick. In addition to Dating & Hookup she also writes for Hello Giggles, The Frisky, Thought Catalog, and Genlux Magazine. Her book, I Forgot To Be Famous, is out now. You can follow her on twitter @apocalypstick. Her favorite pastime is eating and drinking and sleeping and then eating again.
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